BY GRACE McDOWELL
It is the American tradition. Stuff your face with turkey on Thursday while feeling thankful with family, and then push others out of your way on Friday to steal a deal on a 60-inch flat screen TV. According to moneycrashers.com, Black Friday, the shopper’s holiday, is the biggest shopping day of the year.
In recent years, stores have opened their doors at earlier times than ever before. Last year, Macy’s and Target opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Some families may still be having Thanksgiving dinner at this time! This year, however, there has been a recent trend of stores refusing to open on Thanksgiving. A list of the stores announced so far can be found on http://www.oregonlive.com. Some major stores on the list include Barnes & Noble, Ikea, Staples and T.J. Maxx.
Sporting goods retailer, REI, has taken it one step further and announced they will not even be open on Black Friday. Instead, they are encouraging consumers to go outside and explore other activities. In an article from USA Today, REI CEO Jerry Stritzke explains, “As a co-op…we define success a little differently. It’s much broader than just money. How effectively do we get people outside?” REI has started the hashtag “#optoutside” and hope customers will post on social media their alternate plans for Black Friday.
Sophomore Chandler Airaghi explains her usual Black Friday plan of attack. “I always look at the ads Thanksgiving night. I look and see what I want and when the deals are. I go to Target and the mall for sure every year.” Target is one store that plans to open on Thanksgiving. Airaghi gives her opinion on Thanksgiving sales: “Stores should not start their sales any earlier than 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving.” Airaghi understands that opening at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving night could help beat out other competition and help to market their products.
For Cecily May, people-watching is one of her favorite parts of Black Friday. “I like watching people to see how far they will go to get what they want.” May has a tradition of going to her sister’s for Thanksgiving Day and begins shopping for early Christmas deals that night. “We usually wait outside Target on Thanksgiving night, sometimes for up to an hour. After shopping at Target, we head to Wal-Mart. Then, we go to Menard’s, and by that time it is the middle of the night.”
May believes there is no problem with stores opening on Thanksgiving, as long as you spend time with family before you head into the madness. She goes on to say, “However, if stores keep opening earlier, then I think there will be no Thanksgiving. People will just be shopping all throughout the holiday.”
Retailers such as IKEA and T.J. Maxx may be starting the trend for others. Will we see more stores taking a stand against being open on Thanksgiving? Time will tell. As for now, enjoy your pumpkin pie and afternoon football before trekking into the wilderness of what is known as Black Friday.